Chapter 3 3

Randow and Dina supported Jem as they walked into the cavern. Jem was badly singed by the Lightning bolt. She had no feeling in her right side. Randow's arm was damaged. He hoped that he would be able to use another bow again. They set Jem down on a rock, and Dina went up to Riklaun and Tizer.

"Ebonstarr's forces have been routed." Tizer said. "What was left have fled the area. Plus, no sign of Ebonstarr at all. She has escaped." Riklaun looked glum. He knew that he would see her again, if Lloth had anything to do with it.

Edan and Tarion were securing the area with Starrbolt and Modar. They searched the area for any secret passages or rooms. Finding none, they gathered with the others.

Shiel had successfully gotten Nalynn back to consciousness and was helping her to her feet. It would take a few weeks, but Nalynn would be all right. The death of her beloved Torm and the husband she never knew, Braldt, were too much on her. Only time would heal her wounds.

"Has anyone seen Brisid or Caran?" Tizer asked. After the elves shook their heads negatively, another figure walked down the corridor.

"Vedui' mellonea!" Brisid called. The others returned the greeting.

"Brisid, have you seen another elf by the name of Caran, a thief by trade?"

I did--he saved my life..." The clashes of swords interrupted him, coming from a small passage. He moved quickly through the path towards a room that had a errie greenish glow coming from it. He stepped into the room just as a drow was bringing his sword down on Graywolf. He quickly cast Templa Pillini'. They arced into the drow, stumbling him back. The drow looked at Brisid and sneered. He started muttering an incantation. Graywolf leapt up and kicked at the drow. The drow away from the kick, causing him to miscast his spell. Suddenly, a loud clap echoed in the small room and the drow lit up brighter than the sun. Electricity sparked from his body in all directions as the lightning bolt exploded on him. The drow collapsed.

"Riklaun!" Brisid yelled. "You better come see this." Riklaun and Starrbolt walked down to the orb room. "Check out the Orb" Brisid said. Riklaun went into the room. He looked at the orb. His name was scrawled in it, seemingly floating in the mist within.

"I would advise against touching the orb." Graywolf said. Riklaun paid no mind and rested his hands on the orb. His name disappeared and Riklaun went rigid.

"Riklaun," a voice boomed in his head, "You have not seen the last of me" Riklaun stumbled back as The orb went black and dropped to the floor, shattering. Brisid steadied his friend.

"What happened?" he asked.

"A voice in my head." Riklaun said. "Ebonstarr?" asked Brisid.

"No, someone... something else..."


*****

Ebonstarr knelt on one knee in front of the throne. Her gaze was upon the floor.

"You have failed me Ebonstarr. I do not take failure kindly." a female voice said from the throne.

"I was so close, Riklaun was in my grasp." Ebonstarr said, not averting her eyes from the floor. "I had him."

"You may have, but your petty differences with him caused the one I was after to escape. I granted you Nardana Fea, a Soul String, which you used ineffectively. I have lost a powerful slave Ebonstarr. He cannot be replaced. Now that he is free, he will attempt to claim what was once his. I will not allow that."

"I will bring him back..." Ebonstarr said.

"You will do no such thing. I have other plans for you. You will serve me in a different aspect."

"As you wish, what may I ask will be my function?" Ebonstarr asked. "You will lead my accursed of course." The drow, not thinking, looked up. She knew what that meant.

A yochlol, a denizen from a lower plane, appeared beside Ebonstarr and whipped one of its eight tentacles into the drow, sending her sprawling. "Do not look up at her again!" it commanded. "You are not worthy to look Lloth in the eye!"

Ebonstarr wiped some blood from her mouth and resumed her position. "Do not worry. Ebonstarr, I will let you keep your powers," the Spider Queen said. "Do not think for a moment that I am not merciful." An inhuman scream echoed throughout the chamber as the drow's form mutated.


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